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Unit 2 Materials Technology in Quantity Surveying

Unit 2 Materials Technology in Quantity Surveying


Application of the building materials to enhance the building life cycle cost 

Key Words :

Building materials, material properties, building defects, building life cycle, green building, 

Background :

In present, wide range of raw materials are consumed by the building construction industry. With significant growth taking place in the building industry, the burden being placed on limited resources. Therefore selecting the proper building materials are playing vital role of the building industry to enhance the efficiency of the selected materials during its life cycle stagers. 

For a successful construction project, the design, material selection, and construction must all be satisfactory. The project may be envisioned as a 3-link chain, governed by the weakest link. A sound design with quality materials may become a failure if construction is poor. And also poor material selection may badly affect to health and safety issues, inefficient use of energy, maintenance issues, durability and the life span of the building, 

There is a useful distinction to be made between materials that are furnished in the final state, e.g. steel and wood, and those that are essentially manufactured on the job site, e.g. concrete, masonry, and asphalt. For materials manufactured on site, the engineer may bear a much greater responsibility for ensuring that tests are performed and interpreted correctly. It is often necessary to accept or reject materials on the basis of limited test information. 

Green building materials :  

Green building materials are composed of renewable, rather than nonrenewable resources. Green materials are environmentally responsible because impacts are considered over the life of the product.

Spiegel and Meadows 1999,Ross Spiegel and Dru Meadows, Green Building Materials: A Guide to Product Selection and Specification, John Wiley & Sons, Inc., New York, 1999.Retrieved from http://www.calrecycle.ca.gov/greenbuilding/materials/#Spiegel 

LEED, or Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, is changing the way we think about how buildings and communities are planned, constructed, maintained and operated.


Case Study : The up-market shopping complex in the old Race Course building at Reid Avenue, which was renovated preserving its historical value and colonial architecture in 2014 by using the manpower of the Sri Lanka Army (SLA).

Old building was renovated when utilizing modern building materials, reusing the existing building materials. It is consisting with spacious corridors, stairways, celebrative building façade and providing wide ventilation spaces. The modern complex accommodated for supermarkets, restaurants and office spaces. The Colombo Racecourse Ground was developed as the Sri Lanka’s first international rugby stadium and is now equipped with the latest facilities for rugby, including a state-of-the art gymnasium, changing rooms, media rooms and a jogging track encircling the grounds. The pavilions provide seating facilities for over 2,000 spectators. Also designed adequate car parking spaces for the visitors and modified lanes for people to have strolls.

Task 1

a)     Briefly describe about the building features and the material application of the given scenario. Your discussion need to be fulfill with the following building components such as structural, skin, finishes and barriers & protections. (LO1: 1.1) 

b)     As a Structural Material, discuss the properties of Concrete, Timber & Steel materials and how those properties will enhance the performance of the renovated race course building. (LO1: 1.2) 

c)      Select some building materials have been utilized for renovated race course building (You can select any building materials from the building skin and/or finishes and/or barriers & protections.) and discuss how those materials’ properties will uplift the performance of the renovated building.(LO1: 1.3) 

d)     Discuss about the importance of following Performance Standards when selecting / acquiring building materials for this renovated building project. (LO1: 1.4) 

Task 2

Material testing is essential in construction industry. Utilization of high quality construction materials leads to high quality infrastructures. The quality of such materials should be assessed properly in an accepted laboratory, using standard test methods. There are several global standards that specify mechanical properties and/or testing requirements 

a)     Evaluate the significance of quality control for construction materials according to the standards & explain a common material testing method (need to be specifying the standard/s) which is applicable for Concrete, Timber & Steel Reinforcing Bar (rebar) to ensure the quality standard. (LO2: 2.1) 


Demonstration on testing of building construction materials will be carried-out at the Building Materials Research and Testing Division, National Building Research Organization (NBRO), Colombo 05, Sri Lanka.Tests to be demonstrated: Timber, Concrete and testing of reinforcing bars. 

b)     Discuss about the Green Building Concept and key considerations of the green building features which is considered to evaluate a building for its environmental impact and performance. Justify your answer with GBCSL or CIOB “Green Building Assessment Criteria” (LO2: 2.2) 

c)      “Application of the Green Building Materials for a particular building project will be given cost competitive advantages during the demolition stage and also, can be gained energy saving, cost effectiveness, health & safety aspects at the operational stage of the building”. Discuss this statement with the case study. Justify your answer with green building materials.(LO2: 2.3) 

Task 3

Building maintenance is a huge activity in the context of the emerging discipline of facilities management. With the rapid development of construction industry, building maintenance has an important role to ensure the long life span of the building. 

a)     Discuss the importance of having building maintenance procedures / strategies to gain long term benefits during the life span of the building. Analyze your answer with the case study.

(LO3- 3.1) 

b)     “The building materials are an important driver of life cycle of a building”. According to the case study discuss the impotency of the building materials selection in Time, Cost, Quality Paradigm to ensure the long life span of the building. (LO3- 3.2) 


Each student will prepare a report covering all aspects given in the assignment. The document must be in the form of a word processed report (word count 1700 – 2000) and can incorporate any sketches or diagrams to illustrate the answer. NBRO Lab testing results to be incorporated to the report.




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